Bread and Roses
We have attended the Bread & Roses youth exchange as participants from our home organization – Youthfully Yours in Slovakia. Bread & Roses was a pilot project supported by the Erasmus+ program, that including strategic actions with a special focus on raising awareness among young people on gender-sensitive issues and stereotypes within an intercultural perspective and to make young people experiment with new tools, such as graphic facilitation and photos, to afterward raise awareness on the importance of gender equality among groups of peers. We were a part of an international group of young people coming from Greece, Italy, France, and Slovakia. During the project, we were learning by doing, which is an approach where specific learning objectives were organized to practically experiment on through interactive activities and to ensure a coherent learning process. Furthermore, methods were re-adapted during the process, taking into account the needs of participants and of the different actors involved.
It was invigorating to spend time in a group of peers from all corners of Europe, share each other’s cultures, and learn to accept our differences. Our favorite food was without a doubt the food. We’ve had a local cook, Elena, onboard who was making the most delicious meals from only organic, local-grown ingredients. The worst thing we didn’t enjoy so much was poor time management of the project, where we always had to wait on an average of at least half an hour to even start the activities. Also on the first day, we arrived at a very rural train station at Poggio Mirteto without anyone waiting for us nor any signs to how to get to the farm where the exchange was held. After walking for half an hour, uphill, in direct sunlight on a stony dusty road all of us were extremely exhausted and some participants even left the project the following day due to this quite disorganized approach.
Despite these setbacks, the theme of the project was quite interesting, and having the chance to spend time with fellow participants from other countries was really priceless, giving us the opportunity to create lifetime friendships.